Monday, October 4, 2010

Time is an Investment

One of the greatest lessons in time management is learning the difference between spending time and investing time. Spending alludes to cost, and the dictionary defines spend as “to use up, exhaust, consume.” When you incur an expense, you have no expectation of a return. But if we think of our time as a capital investment, we adjust our mentality to expect a return on our time in the form of increased revenue, opportunity, or even a personal satisfaction that advances us toward our goals.

Unfortunately most of us all too often use time in the context of an expense, with no expectation of a return. To make matters worse, we do a poor job of prioritizing time. We spend inordinate amounts of time engaged in frivolous activities that do little or nothing to propel us toward our life goals. For some reason, we don’t value time as money. Though we certainly know better, and we might even say it. But we don’t walk the talk. Most of us are trained not to waste paper. We turn off lights, so we don’t waste electricity. Yet we continue use our time unwisely. We utilize our time—precious moments of our lives that can never be relived—as if we had an unlimited supply.

Too often we spend our time doing what someone else wants us to do, or we do things that seem urgent rather than those that are really important. The result is that many unimportant tasks get done in a thorough, timely fashion, while important activities get hastily done under hasty circumstances. The result is a compromised effort and compromised quality. Time is money. You can expect dividends if you invest wisely, and you can expect losses if you spend thoughtlessly.

Time reflects who you are. It indicates what you think of yourself and others. It reflects how focused you are in achieving the goals you have set for yourself. Orchestrate each day of your life to achieve a high level of performance and satisfaction personally and professionally. Make sure your activities and how you invest your time is aligned with your personal goals and with the goals of your organization.

Stop spending time and start getting results.


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